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How to Get Started

What’s involved in getting a program started?

Getting a formal program started can happen in many different ways. In all instances, support from a local Conservation Officer, the Municipality or Regional District and a group of individuals or service group is encouraged. The minimal requirements vary with the type of program you initiate but each different model requires a strong commitment from the community and financial support. 

Program Materials

The Bear Aware program includes a tool kit that contains a number of print and electronic materials designed to aid in effective program delivery. Included are a program delivery manual, various handbooks, a PowerPoint presentation, posters, stickers and/or tattoos and brochures.

Bear Aware Program Models

In 2010 there were 19 communities delivering a variety of the Bear Aware models to educate the public throughout the province of BC. Running a Program in a community is dependent on having sufficient funds to do so.

There are three different program administration models:

  1. Community Model
  2. Volunteer Model
  3. Wage Subsidized Model

Under the Community Model a community provides all costs related to delivering an education program in their community. The Subsidized Model requires a community to submit an application for consideration to BCCF Bear Aware for the wage subsidy of a Bear Aware Community Coordinator (BACC). The Volunteer Model relies almost entirely on volunteer efforts to raise funds and deliver an education program. Below are further details about each model.

Community Model

  • Community Program Administration
    The program is funded and delivered entirely by the community. A community would be responsible for purchasing a Tool Kit, hiring a BACC, and providing an operating budget, including the cost of training. The BACC position can be full or part-time depending on funding availability. There are different program length options from two to 12 month terms.
  • BCCF Program Administration
    If a community or municipality prefers, BCCF will manage the Bear Aware program for an administrative cost. BCCF will work closely with the host organization to reach a consensus on a working budget. BCCF will hire the BACC and provide the Tool Kit, training for the BACC and as well offer delivery support throughout the duration of the Program. The BACC will be responsible to provide a final report.

    Under this model, all BACCs are employees of BCCF and all human resource issues including, posting of the position, interviewing and hiring will be coordinated by BCCF. BCCF will also provide employment related services including payroll, WCB and other mandatory employment costs. Community involvement in these processes is at their discretion. Upon agreement between BCCF and a community, the community will be able to use BCCF’s charity and Revenue Canada number to apply for certain grants.

Click here for Community Model application

Volunteer Model

This is often the first option for communities trying to raise public awareness and setting the ground work for a full program. Local volunteers that make connections within the community are often successful in raising awareness and the interest of local supporters. The community operates with minimal or no budget and conducts all the work with volunteers. Volunteers are responsible for raising money to cover basic expenses such as the purchase of a Tool Kit. Bear Aware may provide some educational material and other support on a case by case basis.

Click here for Volunteer Model application

Wage Subsidized Model

Please note that not all funding requests may be accommodated.

Under this model, communities submit an application towards the wage subsidy of a Bear Aware Community Coordinator. BCCF applies for funding through various sources for delivery revenue every year. The number of subsidized Bear Aware Programs awarded is based on funds approved. All applications must go through the Provincial Bear Aware Coordinator.

BCCF covers costs associated with recruiting, hiring, and training a Bear Aware Community Coordinator, provides a Bear Aware Tool Kit and administrative and program delivery support. The BACC is an employee of BCCF.

The demand for a Wage Subsidized Bear Aware Program often surpasses the financial capacity of Bear Aware. For this reason there is a fair and equitable selection criterion. Each community application will be reviewed and accorded a fair and equitable evaluation against all other applications.

To qualify for the subsidized model a community or host organization must meet the following set of criteria:

  1. Demonstrated interest and need.
  2. Previous public education activities, whether Bear Aware or a similar program.
  3. Financial support between $1000 and $2500 depending on funds being sought. These funds may be provided as a combination of cash and in-kind donations. Provision of a program budget is included in the application and outlines the key components to be provided by the community including, but not limited to office space and supplies, a computer with internet connection, signage where required, postage and shipping costs, advertising budget, vehicle mileage and per diems for a BACC. This money may be administered locally or by BCCF. A 10% fee applies to all funds administered by BCCF.
  4. Local Conservation Officer written endorsement.
  5. Support of the municipality, the regional district or a society. Please note that working with the governing body in your area is strongly encouraged.
  6. A commitment to complete one or more of the Bear Smart Community criteria.

Please note: All subsidized programs have been allotted for 2011.

The aforementioned models are just examples of how most Programs run. In almost all instances, direct communication with the Provincial Coordinator can help facilitate a program that is suited directly to the unique needs of individual communities.